Blues defender Max Hunt admitted lockdown came at the wrong time for him – as he was just getting into his stride at Brunton Park.

After joining Carlisle United in the January transfer window, Hunt remained patient before gaining his chance in the starting line-up just before the coronavirus restrictions kicked in.

The centre half played the last two games before the season was called off and said he was looking forward to kicking on with his own performances.

“On a personal level the lockdown came at just the wrong time because I’d played the last two games in the lead-up to everything being shut down,” he told the club website.

“We were disappointed with the Colchester performance on the Saturday but we were able to put it right against Newport on the Tuesday night, and we were all happy with the clean sheet.

“There were still a lot of things I needed to improve on, and I feel like there’s a lot more to come from me.

“Obviously I was hoping to kick on from those two games and play in the next few games towards the end of the season.”

And he is already looking forward to preparing for next season, when they get the go-ahead for training.

He added: “I’m really looking forward to getting back into training and playing games. I think it’s important we get back to our usual schedule and routines, not just as players but as fans and people around the club as well.

“The sooner the fans can be back in the stadium supporting us, the better. We’ve all kept in touch in the group chat and everyone is just talking about how much we’re looking forward to being back.”

Talking about his time in lockdown, without football training, he admitted he was trying to keep as fit as possible.

“Lockdown has obviously been very different for everybody. It’s a completely different lifestyle to what I’ve been used to as a player, in terms of not being able to train and things, but at the same time it’s been nice to spend a lot of quality time with my family, which I don’t usually get when I’m living away.

“Some aspects have been really enjoyable, but I’ve still been focused on keeping fit, as have all of the lads. Before we knew whether or not we’d finish the season, and everything was still up in the air, we were trying to keep as much match fitness as we could.

“You can probably appreciate that’s very hard to do when you aren’t in proper training and you can’t do any of your work with anyone else. You’ve just got to push yourself to the next level as much as you can.

“The gaffer, Gav [Skelton] and Dave [Waldie] have given us specific sessions to make sure we’re still doing as much work with the ball as we can, and we’ve all been given specific things to do to keep us sharp and to improve us as players.

“Even once it was announced that the season was over, it wasn’t a case of us just relaxing because we’ve still got to maintain our fitness and make sure we’re ready for whenever we do start again.”